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Murray Through At US Open, Roddick Crashes Out

NEW YORK : Andy Murray cruised through his first match at the U.S. Open while an angry Andy Roddick crashed out on Wednesday, fuming over a foot-fault call. The fourth-seeded Murray had a 6-3, 6-2,
PTI September 02, 2010 16:19 IST
PTI
NEW YORK : Andy Murray cruised through his first match at the U.S. Open while an angry Andy Roddick crashed out on Wednesday, fuming over a foot-fault call.

The fourth-seeded Murray had a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Slovakia's Lukas Lacko, but other big-name players made early exits.

Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion went out in the second round with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (4) loss to 44th-ranked Janko Tipsarevic, whose make-or-break style paid off with 66 winners.

"He played very high-risk and executed for four sets," said the ninth-seeded Roddick, whose exit left Roger Federer as the only past champion in the men's field. "I kept telling myself, 'You know, this has to have an expiration date on it.' Unfortunately, I needed another set for that."

Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych didn't make it past the first round, beaten 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-4 by France's Michael Llodra.

Former U.S. Open champions Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams and French Open finalists Francesca Schiavone and Sam Stosur all progressed, but the main talking point in the women's draw was the dramatic collapse of 10th seeded Victoria Azarenka.

Trailing Gisela Dulko 5-1 in the first set in stifling conditions, Azarenka stopped suddenly while chasing a ball on the baseline, and crumpled to the ground.

Azarenka was treated like a victim of heat exhaustion _ covered by a towel, sheltered by an umbrella, rolled off in a wheelchair, ice pack on her neck and a doctor checking her pulse. Several hours later, she revealed that she had fallen and hit her head during pre-match warmups. She was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a mild concussion.

"I was checked by the medical team before I went on court and they were courtside for monitoring," Azarenka said in a statement. "I felt worse as the match went on, having a headache and feeling dizzy. I also started having trouble seeing and felt weak before I fell."

Though she said her injury wasn't heat related, this was another day when the weather was the hottest topic of conversation. Temperatures on the courts touched 40 Celsius (into the 100s F), and for the second straight day, tournament officials invoked their extreme-weather policy, giving women the option of taking a 10-minute break if they split sets.

Roddick's elimination had drama of a different sort.Already trailing 5-2 in the third, Roddick wound up in an argument over a foot-fault call on a first serve. He turned to the official and asked, "What foot?"

When she told him it was his right foot, he replied, "That's impossible." Roddick then turned to chair umpire Enric Molina and, pointing first to his right foot, then his left, asked, "Has THIS foot gone in front of THAT foot ever in my career?" Molina replied: "Not in my matches."

A TV replay showed Roddick did commit a foot fault _ but with his left toes. Asked later what might have happened if the lineswoman said the call was made because his left foot was on the baseline, he replied: "There would have been no discussion."

But Roddick had berated the lineswoman _ although without the threatening or colorful language that Serena Williams used when she launched a tirade at a line judge over a foot call at the end of her semifinal loss to Clijsters last year.

He missed his second serve for a double-fault, then continued to harangue the official, at one point jokingly making a reference to "1-800-Rent-a-Ref." "In hindsight, did I let it go too far?" Roddick said. "Probably."

"It was the fact that I couldn't get her to admit that it wasn't the right foot that just infuriated me," Roddick said. "The lack of common sense involved in that was unbelievable to me." Tipsarevic's third-round opponent will be France's Gael Monfils, who had a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over Russia's Igor Andreev.

Ivan Ljubicic, seeded 15th, was another notable loser on Wednesday, beaten 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4 by American Ryan Harrison. All the other seeded players made it out of the first round, including Mikhail Youzhny, Nicolas Almagro, and John Isner, who had a straight sets win unlike his three-day epic in the first round at Wimbledon.

Reigning champion Clijsters steamrolled 19-year-old Australian qualifier Sally Peers, 6-2, 6-1 _ though Peers was just thrilled to take on the woman whose autographed photo hangs in her Melbourne home.

 Venus Williams beat Canada's Rebecca Marino 7-6, (3), 6-3; Stosur beat Australian compatriot Anastasia Rodionova 6-1, 6-4 and Schiavone thrashed fellow Italian Maria Elena Camerin 6-2, 6-1.

Elena Dementieva, seeded an unusually low No.12, beat Austria's Sybille Bammer 6-3, 6-4. Former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic found some of her lost form by cruising past China's Zheng Jie 6-3, 6-0 while No.13 Marion Bartoli was the highest-ranked loser, beaten 7-5, 6-4 by French compatriot Virginie Razzano. AP